Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 830 Camera Comparison: Battle of the Mid-Range

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 830 Camera Comparison: Battle of the Mid-Range

By Rich W Woods

Two months after Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 830, it has finally come to AT&T as of November 7. Microsoft is billing it as an affordable flagship, although the specs of the device would say that it is certainly a mid-range device at best. In fact, it uses the same processor as the $129 Nokia Lumia 635, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400.

This is not to say that the Nokia Lumia 830 is by any means as low end as the Nokia Lumia 635 is. The Nokia Lumia 830 uses a 10 MP pureview rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lensand it has an AMOLED display, so it looks beautiful. Also, the Nokia Lumia 635 doesn’t have a flash on the rear camera and it doesn’t have a front camera at all.

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If you’re a regular reader of For the Love of Tech, then you know that I’m a big fan of the Nokia Lumia 635. For such a low end phone, the camera is really good, coming in at 5 MP. With the Nokia Lumia 635, Nokia proved that you don’t need a super high resolution camera to take beautiful photos. Just take a look at any of the camera comparisons done with the Nokia Lumia 635. All of that being said, it seemed fitting that the first camera comparison to be done with the Nokia Lumia 830 would be with the Nokia Lumia 635.

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 830: Specs

Nokia Lumia 635 Nokia Lumia 830
Processor 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400
Display 4.5″, 480p, 218 ppi, LCD 5″, 720p, 294 ppi, AMOLED
Body 129.5×66.7×9.2 mm, 134 g 139.4×70.7×8.5 mm, 150 g
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 10 MP OIS, 3520×2960, 0.9 MP Front
Video 720p – 30 fps 1080p – 30 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps
Aperture F/2.4 F/2.2
Camera Sensor 1/4″ 1/3.4″
Focal Length 28 mm 26 mm
Storage 8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB 16 GB, Expandable to 128 GB
RAM 512 MB 1 GB
Price $99 AT&T, $129 T-Mobile, $199 Unlocked $99 with Contract, $449

 

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Obviously, the Nokia Lumia 830 has better specs than the Nokia Lumia 635 does. After all, it is billed as an affordable flagship. The real question is if it’s worth the extra money. After all, they use the same processor. Performance from that processor is likely the same in each device, as the Lumia 830 has twice as much RAM as the Lumia 635, but it also has three times as many pixels to push on the 720p display.

The overall design of the Lumia 830 is definitely better than the Lumia 635. The Lumia 635 is glossy plastic all around the phone. The Lumia 830 takes the design style of the 930, which is a design that I’ve been in favor of for a long time.

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 830: Camera

The major improvement over the Nokia Lumia 635 is going to be the camera. While the Nokia Lumia 635 does take great photos, the Lumia 830 uses a Carl Zeiss lens. There is a reason that Nokia is known for having the best cameras in their phones.

One thing that I was disappointed in was the video capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 830. I was under the impression that Lumia Denim was going to bring a faster camera as well as 4K video to Lumia phones. Neither of these seem to be true. All that is required to record 4K is an 8.3 MP sensor. One thing that I would really like to see come to Nokia Lumia devices is 1080p video at 60 fps. The higher frame rate really makes a difference, but I digress…

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The display of the Nokia Lumia 635 has a very low resolution. Because of that, the photos don’t look great; however, when those photos get shared, they look beautiful. With the 720p AMOLED display of the Nokia Lumia 830, the photos look beautiful on the phone.

The resolution of the photos won’t make a difference unless you’re viewing them on a 4K display or you’re cropping the images. A 1440p display is less than 3.7 MP, so they will be downscaled.

Finally, since there has been some confusion lately, I should point out that in order to enlarge the images, simply click on them. Also due to some confusion, the images can be viewed in their full sizes by enlarging the photos and then clicking “view full size”.

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Nokia Lumia 635 Nokia Lumia 830

The difference in aperture isn’t as noticeable as some other comparisons I’ve done. The iPad Air 2 uses an F/2.4 aperture and the iPhone 6 uses an F/2.2 aperture and the difference in depth of field was much greater than they were between the Nokia Lumia 635 and the Nokia Lumia 830.

Obviously, both of these phones take beautiful photos, but the Pureview camera of the Nokia Lumia 830 makes a big difference. The colors are more vibrant on the Nokia Lumia 830 photos, almost (but not quite) to the point where they seem oversaturated.

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As I said earlier, the resolution doesn’t make a difference. It does, however, make a difference if the photo is resized.

So here’s the question we all need to ask: Is it worth it? Both phones are going to get roughly the same performance. The camera is better on the Nokia Lumia 830, but not incredibly better. If the price of the Nokia Lumia 830 were $100 lower, it would be a no-brainer, but it’s not. The Nokia Lumia 830 is $449, which happens to be the same price as a Nokia Lumia 930 on Amazon.

 

All Nokia Lumia 635 Camera Comparisons

All Nokia Lumia 830 Camera Comparisons

 

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

  • Curren

    Obviously the 830 is much better, I don’t know what you mean by “not incredibly better”.
    In all pictures the 830 shows more detail, better focus, less noise(low light shot are way better on the 830) and more accurate colors.

    Also there are a lot of differences between the 830 and the 635 not just the camera or mainly the camera.

    • rwoods716

      Yes, there are many differences between the 830 and the 635. ClearBlack, NFC, higher resolution display, more RAM, etc. The camera is, however, why they are calling the 830 an affordable flagship when it is a mid-range phone with a flagship camera.